Nine choruses from nine countries gathered at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona on Sunday 13 October 2019 for the Finals of Let the Peoples Sing (LTPS), the Euroradio Choral Competition. The programme is available in MUSNew as SM/2019/08/06/01.
More than just a competition, LTPS has been a jubilant celebration of amateur choral singing since 1961. It is held every two years in a different location throughout Europe. The 2019 edition took place in Spain for the first time in the Competition's history and was a multimedia event thanks to Catalunya Ràdio (ESCAT), the Catalan public broadcaster. It was broadcast live by EBU radio organizations, meaning that chorus members sang to millions of listeners throughout Europe and beyond.
Adult: Sireen Chamber Choir, Estonia, ERR
Children and Youth: Ponomaryov Vesna Children’s Choir, Russia (individual entry)
Open: BarbAros, Denmark, DR
Silver Rose Bowl (overall winner): BarbAros, Denmark, DR
All the videos from LTPS can be found here.
Congratulations to the winners and to all those who participated!
Catalunya Ràdio, Barcelona and the Palau de la Música Catalana were obvious choices to host LTPS. Catalonia boasts one of the oldest documented choral traditions in Europe. The area was known for its medieval troubadours, and the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat constitutes a priceless source of 14th-century music. The Escolania de Montserrat is one of the world's most ancient music schools, and the children's choir, Cor Infantil Amics de la Unió de Granollers, won the highly coveted Silver Rose Bowl at the 2013 LTPS.
Barcelona is known as one of the most vibrant music centres in Europe. The Gran Teatre del Liceu is a world-class opera house, and the city is also the home of the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, based at L'Auditori. Important performers born or trained there include Jordi Savall, founding director of Hespèrion XX and the Capella Reial de Catalunya, the opera singers Montserrat Caballé, Jaume Aragall, Josep Carreras and Victoria de los Angeles, the pianist Alicia de Larrocha and the world-famous cellist Pau Casals.
Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona
The LTPS finals took place in Barcelona's magnificent 2,049-seat Palau de la Música Catalana, the only concert hall registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was built between 1905 and 1908 for the choral group Orfeó Català, whose home it remains today, in typical Catalan modernist style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The facade and interior are richly decorated, and the concert hall is the only one in Europe lit entirely by natural light during daytime owing to its stunning stained glass skylight designed by Antoni Rigalt.
Each year, over a half million music-lovers attend performances at the Palau de la Música, which hosts concerts ranging from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and cançó (Catalan song) - and, of course, choral music.
Under their Music Director Simon Halsey, Orfeó Català has several amateur vocal ensembles – children's, young, female and adult mixed choruses – as well as a professional chamber choir. Perhaps it was for this reason that the Catalan poet Joan Maragall said that the Palau de la Música was “la casa dels cants” (the house of song).
For the LTPS final round in Barcelona, hosted by ESCAT, the jury was joined by two world-famous conductors: Grammy Award-winner Tõnu Kaljuste, Conductor Laureate of the Swedish Radio Choir; and Daniel Reuss, Artistic Director of the Lausanne Vocal Ensemble. The other members of the jury were: Bent Grønholdt, Chair (DKDR), Raimon Colomer (ESCAT), Jonathan Manners (GBBBC), Inari Tilli (FIYLE) and Brian Newhouse (USAPM).
Children and Youth Category:
Daniel Reuss, Artistic Director of the Lausanne Vocal Ensemble (left) and Grammy Award-winner Tõnu Kaljuste, Conductor Laureate of the Swedish Radio Choir (Photo of Tõnu Kaljuste © Kaupo Kikkas Photography)
You can watch or listen to previous LTPS finals online:
The history of the Let the Peoples Sing (LTPS) Euroradio Choral Competition can be traced back to 1961, when it was founded by the BBC as an annual contest for British choirs. Since 1966, it has been open to ensembles from throughout Europe, and starting in the late 1970s it was organized by the European Broadcasting Union as an entirely international event. The Competition takes place every two years, each time hosted by a different European broadcaster, and it attracts entries from all over the world. In recent years, in addition to European candidates, there were choruses from Canada, Israel, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. A US ensemble reached the finals for the first time in 2011.